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Newest Ko - Katana Don Hanson W-2


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Hey guys and gals. I have been busy with several commission pieces. And when i have had the time I forged a beautiful Ko-Katana out of the last of the W-2 that I got from Don Hanson. This stuff moves like a dream. Any how I had enough to forge a total length of 30" and a 24 1/2" nagasa and is 1 3/8" from mune-machi to ha-machi there is an O-kissaki. I have not figured out yet which Tradition this blade belongs in and the era as well.

 

I forged the sori in and it is close to 1/2" of sori.

 

But here are a few images I took with my phone as my digital camera is broken.

 

There is another Wakizashi in the shot it is already taken, I am working on the Shira Saya, which is a pain since we have had so much rain and the swelling for the wood has made fitting it hard.

 

Any how the bare blade is what I am working on at the moment. This blade is post forge, I was able to forge the bevels as close to finished as possible, I was almost right on as I had to soak the blade in vineagar for a bit to get some of the scale off, but I had to do little filing. I am very happy witht his blade.

 

Let me know what you think about the blade. And yes it will be listed for sale soon.

 

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As always tell me what you think and as soon as I get a better camera I will take better pictures

 

Comments are most welcome

Edited by John Smith
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I am using Poplar for now. I bought some bass wood and, they had a plank of some type of Japanese carving wood. I am anxious to try the bass wood. It is lite and is sopposed to be better to carve in than poplar.

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I am using Poplar for now. I bought some bass wood and, they had a plank of some type of Japanese carving wood. I am anxious to try the bass wood. It is lite and is sopposed to be better to carve in than poplar.

 

Yeah, my brother has carved some stuff out of basswood--I suspect you'll like it. You can almost carve it with a dull butter knife :lol: . Like balsa, but not as light-weight and "airy."

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Well the next part to this puzzle is to clay up the blade and get it ready for heat treating. I am a little worried as I only normalized the blade twice and then one long overnight cool down. It should be ok as long as the water is up to temp before quech.

 

I am hoping to have a camera soon so I can tak better pictures of the blade before heat treat and after.

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Thanks Pete. I am planning to do as tradtional of a polish as I can and if I have enough stones to do it with.

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I wish I had money enough, I would certainly buy that, when it's finished. I have the utmost faith in you success, John.

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Hope the quench goes well. It's looking great so far.

 

By the way...on the camera front: I used to take all my pictures with a $150 Kodak point-and-shoot. Unless you're taking pictures with a camera phone, you should have plenty of resolution for the web. The pictures you've got here look fine in terms of resolution. You'll get a lot more improvement in the appearance of your photos by building a "set" or a light box or whatever you want to call it and then lighting it reasonably carefully, than you do by spending a ton of money on a nice camera. I built a backdrop that you can assemble and disassemble out of PVC pipe (so it doesn't take up much space) and then I use halogen work lights to light it. Cheap and simple.

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Walter thanks for the insight on your photo sessions as I have been wondering how you get such good shots. And it is funny you say camera phone as that is what i used to take the pictures LOL And I am glad you like what I have done here.

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Hey guys and gals. I have been busy with several commission pieces. And when i have had the time I forged a beautiful Ko-Katana out of the last of the W-2 that I got from Don Hanson. This stuff moves like a dream. Any how I had enough to forge a total length of 30" and a 24 1/2" nagasa and is 1 3/8" from mune-machi to ha-machi there is an O-kissaki. I have not figured out yet which Tradition this blade belongs in and the era as well.

 

I forged the sori in and it is close to 1/2" of sori.

 

 

John,

What are you using for your quench? Are you using Parks 50, or something else. And why did you forge in the sori? Do you not get any sori with the quench you use. Do you get reverse sori? The reason I ask about your quench and sori, is that I haven't done any Japanese stuff yet, but are planning to, so I'm seeking all the info about quench's and how they affect sori that I can get. Thank you.

 

Tony G

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Tony I only quench in water. As for the sori sometimes I have set idea of what type and how much sori I want. I could just clay the blade and heat treat it and hope I get the amount of sori I want. Or I can juust forge it in. Just a matter of taste I guess. But alot of Japanese smiths forge the sori in and then quench and get a little more sori. And it also has alot to do with what type of hamon I want which is choji with big lobes and hitatsuri which means no clay along the spine and you will see a mottled affect in the hamon, so hard edge and hard spine.

 

I hope this helps.

 

And Tony youtube is your friend, there is a ton of movies up there on Japanese sword smithing, wakakamo is one in particular who shows you from start to finish how he forges his blades.

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Tony I was just up on youtube and there are three maybe four smiths who have posted their forging methods up on youtube.

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Hey John,

that blade looks AWESOME! are you using a power hammer or did you do it all by hand? the shape and everything is gorgeous. I love it. And i cant wait to see what you do with the hamon. LIke MJDforge, i have the utmost confidence. i cant WAIT to see how it turns out.

 

I still have your graver sitting on my desk. oops.. anyway.. i am shipping out a knife tomorrow and will get it off to you. sorry for my tardiness.

 

Do you have pics of the blade you are working on in saya? the work is gorgeous!

thanks so much

~chris

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Chris I forged it all by hand no power hammer at all. Makes for a long two days of forging. As for the Wakizashi in Shira Saya the blade is the one that hamon looks like a flame on it, I am very unhappy with the saya on that as the rain has made fitting it very difficult.

 

One quick note I forge the sunobe the first day, takes about 8 hours or more to get it perfect ( for me at least ), then the second day is spent forging the bevels and all the other little things like the nakago and such.

 

As for the graver no big hurry.

 

Now as for the hamon I myself want to be surprised, but I am sure I will be.

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Got my insawool from Daren Ellis yesterday. So time to clay the blade up and heat treat. More picts to follow as I do this.

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Thanks. I am goingto try and heat treat tonight and see what happens? Cross my fingers and hope that I get it right on the money.

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Oooo. She's all pretty. I know your quench will go well.

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Well Mike it do go well, I had a little warping due to my clay being off set a little, but it was fixable. I am waitnig for a 180 grit polishing stone to find it's way to me so i can start the foundation polish and actually see what came of my hitatsuri / Choji hamon.

 

 

Actually Mike I ended up with 3/4" sori so from 1/2" forged in sori to 3/4" sori, and the hamon has hitatsuri, which means no clay on spine at all, and I still got sori out of it. Not sure how that happened as I have do ne this style before and never got sori. Must be that the blade wanted more and took it. LOL

Edited by John Smith
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